Model S

Touch screen bubbles / leakage

Hi guys,
I own Tesla 2013 Model S and is out of warranty period. Touch screen on MCU is showing up bubbles on the sides and top edge of the screen which is increased from what I noticed last November.
Tesla service center looked at the pictures I sent and told me to have entire MCU replaced for this and it is costly. I have no issues with controls or MCU so far. Why do I need to replace whole thing?

Last November, I was told $1000 by same service center and now $2700. It doesn't make sense. I read various comments in forum and noticed price varies a lot for the similar problem.

What should be cost for fixing? Any suggestions for replacing the screen portion or fixing the gel leaking problem from the screen?

Is the screen available to buy and can it be replaced by consumers. I assume it is few screws and power plugs on board.

Any suggestions will be really helpful. I am afraid that MCU may stop responding at some point with more bubbles in it.

Thank you very much,
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Comments

  • edited November -1
    Yep, the screen needs to be replaced - it cannot be repaired. I'm fairly sure Tesla has a screen replacement program, and the cost is in the $1000 area. The $2700 would be for a total replacement, which seems unnecessary.

    Getting the MCU out is quite a chore, as much of the dash must be disassembled. I know the screen is made by LG, but beyond that, I don't have an LG part number. You could try eBay for a screen replacement, but only if new. Tesla may have changed suppliers and/or the display model since 2013, so that newer screens are better, at least I'd hope so.

    Lastly, it's worth considering a LTE upgrade at the same time ($500). The 3G module is inside the MCU. Perhaps they would give a discount if the work is already being done to pull out the MCU, but I somewhat doubt it. They seem to have fixed prices for modifications like this.
  • edited August 2017
    I just saw the bubbles on mine a few weeks ago. I'm going to get it done this spring before I get out of my initial 4 year warranty period and get the LTE upgrade with it.
  • edited August 2017
    At some point this needs to be addressed as a possible Service Bulletin issue and not a pay-for-service issue. I wonder how many have to happen before it will be considered.

    I had several after warranty issues on my BMW handled as Service Bulletins because they were considered not normal wear and tear even out of warranty.
  • edited August 2017
    @Boone, @Rocky: There MAY be recourse even "out of [express] warranty" under the theory of implied warranty against design defects. Many early screens seem to suffer this problem.
    Of course, asking Tesla for some "goodwill" assistance if you're out of warranty is the best approach.
  • edited August 2017
    Mine had bubbles (2013 Model) and luckily I still had a few months before warranty expiration. They replaced entire MCU.
  • edited November -1
    I've seen them on eBay for relatively little money, but it's not something I'd recommend doing on your own or with a private mechanic. You really need Tesla's computer and toolkit to save the data and go through the entire process. In theory you could mess things up, including the odometer reading, if things aren't done with a proper reset and by the book. I doubt Tesla would accept you walking in with a used part and asking them to install it.
  • edited August 2017
    Well, I'm glad it happened when it did. It get to start over the clock on that part before the warranty is up. Maybe if I can kick the internal charger a time or two, I can get that to go out now and have it replaced in the warranty period too. :) Those are the two kind of pricey things I would be a little concerned about in the next few years.
  • edited November -1
    @Rocky et. al., don't forget to take a screenshot of Trip A before replacement...
  • edited August 2017
    Mine appeared after the warranty expired. I purchased the ESA right after delivery in 2012 as a hedge against the nascent technology in a car that had no maintenance track record. If Tesla won't do a "goodwill" replacement, at least I know it won't cost more than $200. Sounds like a good time to do the 4G upgrade too.
  • edited August 2017
    @NKYTA, Yeah, that would make me sad if I lost that. I've never reset either of my trip meters. They're about 20 miles different.
  • edited November -1
    We also had bubbles appear on the monitor of our 2013 Model S. Unfortunately, right after the 50k service. I asked the Service Center to replace the monitor when the car was at the SC for urgent chargeport replacement. Both done for $200 under ESA (bought for $2500 in 2013). Trip meters got reset :(
  • edited August 2017
    Thanks for all your suggestions! Really appreciate it.

    However, I want to share my thoughts on new finding. Since, I noticed increased amount of bubbles, I have switched ON temperature setting for car cabin overheating. No further increased in bubbles since then (at least few weeks by now).
    I remember when I purchased the car, this is how cabin overheat temperature was set. Just to extend battery life, I had tuned it OFF. This was the first summer experience I have with Tesla and this bubble issue raised extensively (compare to small bubbles earlier) within a month of July. Several days were in 90+ here in Chicago and car was being toasted in parking lot at my work.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but I believe that issue is quality of glue that used in screen sealing. It melts and allows air to get in if temperature is high inside the car cabin.

    To me, this is poor quality of work not tested properly and no one needs to pay out of pocket. I will keep posted if I see any further extension of leakage in my car.

    Please let me know if you agree or disagree.

    Being Electrical and computer engineer, I was more comfortable buying electric vehicle than gas engine one but never thought of this poor workmanship. I don't know what will be the next even I fix this.

    Thank you for reading,
  • edited November -1
    Hey, I'm joining the club of gel-leaking tesla screens conveniently happening after warranty expiration. 2013 car with 56k miles. I do believe it is related to temperature and time in the field. The seal on the gel within the screen will continue to weaken over time with temp and humidity variations. It's going to happen eventually even with the overheat monitoring on. I think it is there only for ease of install of the antiglare screen protection so that there is a consistent surface with no bubbles or display variations.

    In any case, mine is leaking all over the center console and underscreen cubby. It is messy and very difficult to remove without some sort of Goo-gone product. So I'm sure it also isn't something you want on your skin. So watch out for cell phones, packs of gum, sunglasses, etc that get leaked on.
  • edited November -1
    This sounds like a design defect. My 2004 Prius touchscreen never leaked in the 7 years I had it.
  • edited September 2017
    I too have a 2013 and have bubbles now I noticed the fluid dripping out of the bottom of the screen.
    I too believe this should be a recall issue.
  • edited November -1
    My 2013 Tesla developed a 1.5 inch bubble on the side of the display when the car was about 3 years old. Unfortunately it was out of warranty since we had over 50k miles. Cost was about $1k.
  • edited November -1
    I do feel that the bubble issue is a manufacturing defect. My car doesn't usually experience really hot weather or direct sun since it's garaged when at home, and I'm able to have covered garage parking at work.
  • edited November -1
    I would press hard for a goodwill replacement.
  • edited September 2017
    My 2015 S just started with a bubble right after warranty ran out. Still waiting to hear from Tesla about goodwill replacement. They told me around $1200 for repair. I very disappointed.
  • edited September 2017
    @lyonbyte, wow, a 2015. That was after they supposedly fixed the leakage problem. Now you've got me worrying (7/2015 build).

    Do you live in a place with large temperature extremes?
  • edited September 2017
    My 2013 P85 had that problem. They replaced the screen during an annual service. If you get it done, make sure they back up all your settings. Mine were all lost. Trip counters, homelink, driver profile, presets, etc. were all reset.
  • edited September 2017
    @rxlawdude : Do you live in a place with large temperature extremes?

    Hmmm.. I wonder if that is another reason why they did the cabin temperature control - to protect the screen and save them money in replacement costs.
  • edited September 2017
    Developed a hardly noticeable bubble at around 66000 miles. Tesla replaced it free under my extended warranty
  • edited September 2017
    @Chunky, that's a really great point!

    And perhaps not only for protection of the screen, but of all the electronics in the cabin. They don't like ambients in the 140s F, though it's unlikely most things are powered up when the car is vacant (which would only add to the heat stress).
  • edited September 2017
    If perhaps Chunky is correct about cabin temp control, at least they came up with a fix. What do other car companies do about cars that have already left the factory?.
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